If you've ever wondered how someone could be so crazy as to do something insane, I know firsthand how it is possible. When you don't sleep well, it is hard to keep reality straight.
Sleep is tricky, because technically we aren't there for it, but we are. You can think you sleep just fine all the time, but not be getting the benefit of quality sleep. It isn't just about the light/darkness in the room, the temperature, softness of bedding, etc. You can get everything right and be comfortable, but still not get the benefit of sleep. It comes down to what is happening in your lungs and throat.
Personally I feel betrayed by my food tunnel and vocal chamber. It has tried to kill me every night for years. Talk about covert black ops and clandestine dealings in the dead of night. This thing is 100% evil with a baseball bat. All I've ever done is feed it good things as an unspoken pact we've had. Our interests aligned, or so I thought. Nope, Mr. Throat is out to end me.
Sleep apnea is a big joke, and people think it isn't a big deal. Well, you're unequivocally wrong medically speaking. At least in my case. I have never really FELT apnea much. I've had an occasional nighttime headache, or weird feeling when I wake up. Some insomnia. That's it. Nothing show-stopping or earth-shattering, but the data doesn't lie. I've had multiple sleep-studies using different methods, and every time they come back terrible. I am not sleeping well.
Let's be clear, I spend the hours in bed "sleeping" but that is the tricky part. The "sleep" I get is really a glorified paralyzed waiting while incapacitated. The depth and quality of sleep, though I don't feel it, is rock bottom awful. Apparently. It has been detrimental and affected my life greatly in the nope, not having it column. BAD!
When I am not sleeping well, which seems to be nearly always, I begin my decent into madness once again. I am constantly stressed, overweight, diabetic, tired, fatigued, have random body pain every day, and other related issues. I am more irritable and have a bit of a temper.
How do I know? I'm married. My wife can tell even when I can't. Sometimes I hear it, feel it, and know that I'm in bad shape. It sucks. It's bad for me and everyone around me. Now I know why, and though it seems strange, it is true. You get to this numb ambiguous state where you can't really tell what is happening and why, you feel like something is wrong but don't know what to try or even what might be going on with you.
So, what helps? Unfortunately doctors. I have had so much trouble getting doctors to listen to me and believe that I am having the issues I do. They just think I'm fat and lazy. They think I'm American. While they aren't wrong, that isn't half the story. I'm also self-motivated and extremely involved in my own well-being and medical care. I know everything about everything I can, and they aren't ready for that.
Through a few doctors who did listen and try things to help me, I have found out that sleep apnea is a real thing and that I deal with it. I'm almost the worst on the scale. So, I've been flirting with a CPAP (Continuous Positive Air-Pressure) machine for a few years now. Basically, a CPAP is one of those night-time forced air into your lungs to keep you breathing well machines. Yes I do use it, but consistency has been a bit of a challenge. It is hard to get used to, but it helps a TON, after a while.
What? After a while using it consistently, your brain, body, and blungs (had to keep the B thing going there) will reprogram themselves to not be in constant panic mode, and you start to actually hit REM sleep that WORKS and MATTERS and HELPS you be alive.
Another thing that helps is not living in the effing city. Now that we live basically in the country out by the cowies away from all the drug dealers and stealers in the suburbs, I can sleep much better without the noise. It is actually a big factor. I never thought it mattered that much. Not for everyone I'd guess, but for me it does.
When I am on CPAP and sleep well, it doesn't always FEEL like I slept well, but in general I am able to think, reason, design, build, work, play, enjoy, and all those things that are harder to do when I am not sleeping well. I don't have a temper or feel as stressed in general like I do when I'm an altered beast with no downtime. A few simple things to help me stay alive while sleeping could help me go from feeling like there is old yogurt in my soul to feeling like I deserve to be alive. Who knew? I assume Yoplait and the GREEK people did. Jerks.